Friday, July 29, 2011

Now Playing - 7/29/11

As usual, it's been a while since the last Now Playing post. And as usual, there is SO MUCH MUSIC to let you know about. I didn't even bother counting up just how many new releases we've added in the last few months, but you can have a look-see at every last one of them below. The album titles are links to buy, and the AccuJazz channels on which you're most likely to hear them are listed below. Most all new adds are also playing on the Main Channel and New Releases. Why don't you fire one of those up to listen while you peruse?

Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis - Here We Go Again (Blue Note)
Straight Ahead, Vocals, Live Jazz, Trumpet, Pop Composers, Blue Note

Gretchen Parlato - The Lost and Found (Obliqsound)
Vocals, New School, Emerging Voices, New York

Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and Lenny White - Forever (Concord)
Piano, New School, Modern Mainstream, Live Jazz, Fusion

Pat Metheny - What's It All About (Nonesuch)
Guitar, New School, Pop Composers

Eric Alexander - Don't Follow the Crowd (HighNote)
Saxophone, Modern Mainstream, New York

Ambrose Akinmusire - When the Heart Emerges Glistening (Blue Note)
New School, Cutting Edge, Emerging Voices, New York, Modern West Coast, Trumpet, Blue Note

Monty Alexander - Uplift (Jazz Legacy Productions)
Straight Ahead, Piano, Modern Mainstream, Live Jazz

Ben Allison - Action-Refraction (Palmetto)
New School, Cutting Edge, New York, Fusion, Pop Composers

Karrin Allyson - 'Round Midnight (Concord)
Vocals, Women of Jazz

Terrell Stafford - This Side of Strayhorn (Max Jazz Records)
Straight Ahead, Modern Mainstream, New York, Trumpet, Composers: Ellington

Freddie Hubbard - Pinnacle: Live and Unreleased From the Keystone Korner (Resonance)
New School, Live Jazz, Trumpet, 80s

Ben Williams - State of Art (Concord)
New School, Modern Mainstream, Emerging Voices, New York, Bassists, Groove Jazz

Gerald Wilson - Legacy (Mack Avenue)
Big Band

Yellowjackets - Timeline (Mack Avenue)
Saxophone, New School, Modern Mainstream, Fusion

Fred Hersch - Alone at the Vanguard (Palmetto)

Joshua Redman, Aaron Parks, Matt Penman and Eric Harland - James Farm (Nonesuch)
Saxophone, New School, Cutting Edge, Modern Mainstream, New York

Captain Black Big Band - Captain Black Big Band (Positone)
Straight Ahead, Modern Mainstream, Live Jazz, Big Band

Charlie Haden Quartet West - Sophisticated Ladies (Emarcy)
Saxophone, Vocals, Mellow

Branford Marsalis and Joey Calderazzo - Songs of Mirth and Melancholy (Marsalis Music)
Piano, Saxophone, New School, Modern Mainstream, Mellow Jazz, Third Stream

Stefon Harris, David Sanchez and Christian Scott - Ninety Miles (Concord Picante)
Saxophone, Trumpet, Good Vibes, Latin, New School, Modern Mainstream, Emerging Voices

Vinicius Cantuária & Bill Frisell - Lagrimas Mexicanas (Ent. One Music)
Guitar, Vocals, Latin, Brazilian Jazz

Kenny Werner - Balloons (Half Note)
New School, Modern Mainstream, Live Jazz, New York

Gary Burton - Common Ground (Mack Avenue)
New School, Modern Mainstream, Good Vibes

Eliane Elias - Light My Fire (Concord Picante)
Vocals, Latin, Brazilian Jazz, Women of Jazz

Brian Lynch - Unsung Heroes (Hollistic MusicWorks)
Straight Ahead, Modern Mainstream, Trumpet

Sachal Vasandani - Hi-Fly (Mack Avenue)
Vocals, Emerging Voices

Benny Green - Source (Jazz Legacy Productions)
Straight Ahead, Piano

Randy Brecker With the DR Big Band - The Jazz Ballad Song Book (Halfnote Records)
Modern Mainstream, Big Band, Trumpet

Klang - Other Doors (Allos Documents)
New School, Chicago, Avant-Garde, Good Vibes

BANN - As You Like (Jazz Eyes)
New School, Modern Mainstream

Etienne Charles - Kaiso (Culture Shock Music)
New School, Modern Mainstream, Emerging Voices, New York, Trumpet

Noah Haidu - Slipstream (Positone)
Piano, New School, Modern Mainstream, Emerging Voices, New York

Sean Jones - No Need for Words (Mack Avenue)
New School, Modern Mainstream, New York, Trumpet

Larry Gray Trio - Three Equals One (Chicago Sessions)
Guitar, Modern Mainstream, Chicago, Bass

Tom Harrell - The Time of the Sun (HighNote)
New School, Modern Mainstream, New York, Trumpet

Hiromi - Voice (Telarc)
Piano, New School, Modern Mainstream, Emerging Voices, Fusion, Women of Jazz

Marika Hughes - Afterlife Music Radio (DD Records)
New School, Cutting Edge, New York, Women of Jazz

Jambalaya Brass Band - It's a Jungle Out There (890 West Music)
New School, New York, Groove Jazz

Dave Juarez - Round Red Light (Positone)
Guitar, New School, Modern Mainstream, Emerging Voices, New York

Darren Lyons - Evil Genius (Self-Released)

Mike Reed's My Silence - It Only Happens at Night (482 Music)
Cutting Edge, Chicago, Avant-Garde, AACM

Andrew McCormack and Jason Yarde - My Duo (Joy and Ears)
Saxophone, New School, Modern Mainstream, Europe

Jessica Pavone - Army of Strangers (Porter)
New School, Cutting Edge, Emerging Voices

Alex Skolnick Trio - Veritas (Palmetto)
Guitar, New School, Fusion, Groove Jazz

Slumgum - Quardboard Flavored Fiber (Accretions)
New School, Cutting Edge, Modern West Coast

Odean Pope - Universal Sounds (Porter)

Sonic Liberation Front - Sonic Liberation Front Meets Sunny Murray (High Two)
New School, Avant-Garde

Don Stiernberg - Swing 220 (Blue Night Records)
Guitar, Old School

Larry Goldings - In My Room (BFM Jazz)
Piano, Modern Mainstream, Mellow

Roseanna Vitro - The Music of Randy Newman (Motema)
Vocals, Pop Composers, Women of Jazz

Judy Wexler - Under a Painted Sky (Jazzed Media)
Vocals, Women of Jazz

Bryan Carter - Enchantment (Imaginate Records)
New School, Modern Mainstream, Emerging Voices, New York, Chicago, Drummers

Jane Bunnett and Hilario Duran - Cuban Rhapsody (Alma Records)
Piano, Saxophone, Latin, Modern Mainstream, Women of Jazz

Gerald Clayton - Bond: The Paris Sessions (Emarcy)
Piano, New School, Modern Mainstream, Emerging Voices, New York, Modern West Coast

Les Doigts de L'Homme - 1910 (Alma Records)
Guitar, Old School

Blue Cranes - Observatories (Meester Records)
New School, Cutting Edge, Emerging Voices, Modern West Coast

Diane Schuur - The Gathering (Vanguard Records)
Vocals, Pop Composers

Dr. Michael White - Adventures in New Orleans Jazz: Part 1 (Basin Street)
New Orleans

Marquis Hill - New Gospel (Self-Released)
New School, Modern Mainstream, Emerging Voices, Chicago, Trumpet

Steve Khan - Parting Shot (Tone Center)
Guitar, Latin, New School, Modern Mainstream, Drummers, Fusion, Groove Jazz

Jared Gold - All Wrapped Up (Posi-Tone)
Straight Ahead, Modern Mainstream, New York, Organ, Groove Jazz

Tiempo Libre - My Secret Radio (Sony)

Ernest Dawkins - The Prairie Prophet (Delmark)
New School, Chicago

Taylor Ho Bynum, Joe Morris and Sara Schoenbeck - Next (Porter)

Club D'Elf - Electric Moroccoland (Face Pelt Records)
World Fusion, Fusion, Groove Jazz

Tara Davidson - View (Self-Released)
Saxophone, New School, Cutting Edge, Modern Mainstream, Emerging Voices, Women of Jazz

Benjamin Drazen - Inner Flights (Positone)
Saxophone, New School, Modern Mainstream, New York

Alex Pinto - Inner State (Pursuance Records)
Guitar, New School, Cutting Edge, Emerging Voices, Modern West Coast

John Vanore and Abstract Truth - Contagious Words (Acoustical Concepts)
Modern Mainstream, Big Band, Trumpet

Blue Cranes - Cantus Firmus (Self-Released)
Cutting Edge, Modern West Coast, Pop Composers

Seabrook Power Plant - Seabrook Power Plant II (Loyal Label)
Cutting Edge, Emerging Voices, New York, Avant-Garde

T.K. Blue - Latinbird (Motema)
Latin, Modern Mainstream, New York, Composers: Bird and Diz

Come Sunday - Crosscurrents (Self-Released)
Chicago, Vocals, Spiritual

Luis Conte - En Casa De Luis (BFM Jazz)
Latin, Modern Mainstream, World Fusion

Carlo de Rosa's Cross Fade - Brain Dance (Cuneiform)
New School, Cutting Edge, New York, Bassists

Larry Coryell - Larry Coryell With the Wide Hive Players (Wide Hive)
Guitar, New School, Modern Mainstream, Modern West Coast, Fusion, Groove Jazz

Matt Haimovitz and Uccello - Meeting of the Spirits (Oxingale Records)
New School, Third Stream

Khan Jamal - Cool (Porter)
Avant-Garde, Good Vibes

Irvin Mayfield - A Love Letter to New Orleans (Basin Street)
New Orleans, Trumpet, Groove Jazz

Michael J. Miles - Col-lage (Right Turn on Red Music)
New School, Third Stream

Darius Jones and Matthew Shipp - Cosmic Lieder (AUM Fidelity)
New School, New York, Avant-Garde

Dado Moroni - Live in Beverly Hills (Resonance)
Piano, Modern Mainstream, Live Jazz, Europe

Jason Parker Quartet - Five Leaves Left: A Tribute to Nick Drake (Broken Time Records)
Vocals, New School, Modern Mainstream, Modern West Coast, Trumpet, Pop Composers

Profound Sound Trio - Opus De Life (Porter)

Rebirth Brass Band - Rebirth of New Orleans (Basin Street)
New School, New Orleans, Groove Jazz

The Nightcrawlers - Down In the Bottom (Cellar Live)
Straight Ahead, Big Band, Organ, Groove Jazz

Matthew Shipp - Art of the Improviser (Thirsty Ear)
New School, New York, Avant-Garde

Sinistrio - Ride the Dragon (Chronograph)
New School, Modern Mainstream, Emerging Voices, Organ, Groove Jazz

Nate Wooley, Fred Lonberg-Holm and Jason Roebke - Throw Down Your Hammer and Sing (Porter)

Renee Yoxon and Rene Gely - Let's Call It a Day (Self-Released)
Vocals, Emerging Voices, Women of Jazz

Weasel Walter, Mary Halvorson and Peter Evans - Electric Fruit (Thirsty Ear)
Emerging Voices, Avant-Garde

Ralph Bowen - Power Play (Positone)
Saxophone, New School, Modern Mainstream, New York

Colorlist - The Fastest Way to Become the Ocean (Serein)
Cutting Edge, Emerging Voices, Chicago

Led Bib - Bring Your Own (Cuneiform)
New School, Cutting Edge, Emerging Voices, Europe, Fusion

Louie Belogenis Trio - Tiresias (Porter)

Older Releases Just Added:

Air - Live (1977) (Black Saint)
Chicago, Avant-Garde, AACM

Kurt Rosenwinkel - Our Secret World (2010) (Word of Mouth Music)
Guitar, New School, Modern Mainstream, Big Band

David Sanchez - Cultural Survival (2008) (Concord)
Saxophone, Latin, New School, Modern Mainstream

Joe Lovano, Dave Liebman and Ravi Coltrane - Saxophone Summit: Seraphic Light (2008) (Telarc)
Saxophone, New School, Modern Mainstream, Spiritual

Bill Carrothers Trio - Joy Spring (2010) (Pirouet)
Straight Ahead, Piano, Modern Mainstream

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

R.I.P. Frank Foster

Frank Foster, a veteran saxophonist, composer, arranger and bandleader, died in his sleep Tuesday morning. He will primarily be remembered as a pillar of the Count Basie band during its celebrated "New Testament" period from 1953 to 1964, but Foster maintained a busy schedule of recording and touring as both a leader and sideman throughout his life. Besides his work with Basie, Foster worked with a who's who of jazz legends including Thelonious Monk, Elvin Jones, Ella Fitzgerald, Milt Jackson and Sarah Vaughan.

Foster's great contributions to the Count Basie Orchestra in the '50s and '60s led to his taking over as the band's leader after Basie's death two decades later. Foster also led his own ensemble called the Loud Minority Big Band which was something of a labor of love throughout his career. On his motivation for starting a big band, Foster said, "I have to make a statement with a big band, or there ain't going to be no statement."

A handful Foster's compositions, notably "Shiny Stockings," "Simone," and "Blues in Hoss Flat," have become well-loved and oft-played jazz standards, especially among high school and college big bands.

News of Foster's death comes a year after some good news for the Foster family: after nearly 5 decades of missing out on collecting royalties for "Shiny Stockings," his most famous composition, he won back the rights to the song. Now, Frank Foster's family will continue to benefit from his legacy by collecting royalties after his death.

The jazz press and blogosphere has already produced a number of worthy obits and tributes to Foster. Click on the links below:

-The New York Times
-NPR's A Blog Supreme
-Some great YouTube selections from Jim Macnie
-A personal remembrance from Doug Ramsey

Monday, July 11, 2011

New Channels Round-Up

If you haven't been to in a while, you'll notice a handful of recently-added channels now being offered for your listening pleasure. In the past month or so, we've added five channels to the already possibly overwhelming array of AccuJazz listening options. But, somehow, not one of the channels was commemorated in a blog post. It's due time to put an end to this negligence and give a little coverage to our deserving new channels.


The AACM is the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, and if you don't know what that is, there's an award-winning, 690-page book that can fill you in. If you don't have the time for that, however, let me give you the short version: in 1965 a group of experimentally-inclined, Chicago-based jazz musicians founded the organization to promote and present their distinctly un-commercial music to the Chicago and the world. Founders and early members included such avant-garde jazz legends as Muhal Richard Abrams, Henry Threadgill, Anthony Braxton, Jack DeJohnette, Wadada Leo Smith and the Art Ensemble of Chicago (pictured).

Over the decades, the influence of the AACM has grown far beyond what the founders likely imagined and dozens more musicians have been admitted as official members. Our channel is playing hundreds of tracks by AACM-affiliated musicians, ranging from classic Art Ensemble recordings to brand new music by AACM Vice Chairperson Mike Reed. If your ears are in need of a trip away from the ordinary, hop on this channel.

Montreal Jazz Festival 2011

MJF 2011 is the newest member of our festival channel category, and the one that probably should have been created first; MJF is the world's biggest jazz festival. It attracts millions (yup, you read that right) of fans every summer to see concerts by the biggest names in jazz as well as plenty of rock, pop and R&B acts. With so many artists performing at the fest, it wasn't hard for me to hand-pick a pretty great mix of music for the channel, from cutting-edge young musicians like Darcy James Argue to Gen-X stars like Brian Blade to all-time legends like Dave Brubeck.

Unfortunately, the fest already happened, so you're out of luck if the great mix on our channel triggers an impulse to hop on a plane to Montreal for this year's fest. But you'll be able to keep listening to the channel, which is almost as good... right?

World Fusion

Mixing jazz with music from around the world is nothing new, but in the last few decades, there has been an increasingly greater output of music that references different "world" music and jazz at the same time. Foreign elements in the music might be as small as adding an unusual ethnic instrument like an Oud to an otherwise conventional improv setting or as considerable as basing the whole piece on ancient Indian beat cycles.

I found a great deal of music in the AccuJazz collection that fit squarely into the "world fusion" category: not mainstream jazz, not jazz-rock fusion, but definitely jazz of some sort. You'll hear examples of this beautifully unique music by artists like Vijay Iyer, Fareed Haque, Miguel Zenon and many others.

Spiritual Jazz

It's no mystery that many great musicians, in jazz and virtually every other style, grew up playing in church (including yours truly). For a lot of those musicians, their music never quite left the church. There's a long tradition of jazz musicians re-interpreting hymns and spirituals like "Just a Closer Walk With Thee," "Amazing Grace," and "Wade in the Water." Our channel features great versions of this timeless music from musicians like Charles Lloyd, Cyrus Chestnut, John Scofield and Hank Jones. But there are also some original, faith-centric, compositions by musicians like Terence Blanchard, Brian Blade and Deanna Witkowski.

A few minutes with this channel and you will be convinced that jazz is most definitely not the devil's music. Rev. Ronald V. Myers even found a Bible verse that establishes a precedent for Christian jazz: Amos 6:5.

Composers: Wayne Shorter

I get requests for new artist-based channels pretty often, but it's a rare musician who has composed enough timeless music that the legions of cover versions, in addition the the originals, can make up an entire listenable channel. Wayne Shorter, in addition to the other five jazz composers already honored with their own channels, is one such musician. Generally regarded as jazz music's greatest living composer, Shorter has been producing his distinctive brand of post-bop jazz for five decades. He is still making exciting, urgent new music with his excellent quartet, proving an exception to the rule that septuagenarian jazz masters often become little more than pale imitations of their younger selves.

The channel features over 60 different artists digging in to Shorter's material, including plenty of recordings under Wayne's own name. He is also heard as a sideman with groups like Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, the Miles Davis Quintet and Weather Report. Listeners will hear plenty of takes on "Footprints," Wayne's most oft-covered tune, but keep listening for lesser-played but equally-genius compositions like "Black Nile," "Night Dreamer," "Juju," and "Fall" (one that shows up surprisingly often).